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April 29 - A-Rod and A-Teen

Alex Rodriguez and Eddie Westfall.

A-Rod and A-teen [18].

Two names that you don’t see in print together very often. A-Rod’s performance on the night of April 26
allows me to make this unusual coupling.

A-Rod’s night, mainly against Bartolo Colon, is the stuff that most people only dream about.  Three
home runs, 10 RBI’s.  In one game. At Yankee Stadium, no less.  It was the second mammoth night in
eight days for the Yankee third baseman – he had five hits and six ribbies against Tampa Bay on April
18.

A-Rod’s latest outburst, and a home run the following night, gave him the major league lead in dingers
with eight.  Maybe now people will consider him the silliest of sports terms, “A True Yankee”.  As in a
player who won a World Championship ring in the Bronx.

He may not be “A True Yankee” but he is a true superstar. A-Rod, still 29 years old, now has 389 career
home runs, and has this season passed players like Jim Rice and Dwight Evans on the all-time home
run list.  His home run on Thursday equaled Johnny Bench’s total.  Did I mention that he’s only 29?

Rodriguez may have a shot at 660, 714, 755, or whatever Barry Bonds [currently 703 and holding] hits.  

It’s heady stuff for a player who won’t turn thirty until the last week of July.

But what does A-Rod have to do with A-teen?

It’s actually quite simple.  Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez was three months away from joining this
world, when on April 26, 1975, thirty years earlier to the day, Ed Westfall scored the game’s only goal at
14:42 of the third period as the Islanders completed their comeback after losing the first three games to
eliminate the Pittsburgh Penguins.  It was only the second time in sports history [1942 Maple Leafs] that
it happened.

Of course the Red Sox did it to A-Rod, his hip, and his teammates last October.  It’s why some yahoos
think the A-Rod is not a True Yankee.

By the way, that next home run will be his 390th, and will not only pass Bench, but will tie Graig Nettles.  
Now, he was a True Yankee.

Unrelated Thoughts:

Farewell, Doug Brien.

I had to laugh on Thursday reading about former Capital enforcer Dale Hunter complaining about the
dirty stick work in the OHL playoffs.  The comments of Hunter, who is now the coach of the Kitchener
Rangers, appeared on the twelfth anniversary of Hunter’s blindside hit on Pierre Turgeon that earned
him a 21-game suspension by newbie NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.  By the way, anyone heard of
Bettman recently?

Listening to John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WCBS is a much more pleasurable experience than
Sterling and departed partner Charley Steiner. I always got the feeling that Sterling disliked, even hated,
Steiner.  It was like sitting in on a divorce.

Does any local team get less respect than the Nets?  Neither Tuesday’s Game 2 in Miami not
Thursday's classic Game 3 were televised locally.  The Heat broadcast the games in Miami but with the
Yankees playing on YES, there was no place for the Nets.  Ironically fans who tuned into Thursday’s
national telecast found future Nets voice Marv Albert on TNT while several courtside shots showed
current voice Ian Eagle.